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New program to raise awareness of opioid abuse prevention

GOSHEN, Ind. –

One of the leading health problems in Indiana will be the topic of discussion at a free program in Elkhart County on Monday.

The Awareness of Opioid & Other Forms of Addiction Program will go over basic awareness to help people be more cognizant of changes they may see in a person suffering from drug abuse.

“It touches all socioeconomic groups. This is not a problem that is only hitting the lower income people. This is affecting everybody,” said Captain Jeff Siegel from the Detective Bureau at the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department.

Siegel will be presenting the program, which is put on by the Elkhart County Extension Homemakers.

He says the problem, is often discovered too late.

“This is a problem that a lot of times we don’t know about until we have a death,” he said. “We just want to share what to be aware of, plus some things that people can do to maybe prevent this from happening.”

He says family members could be the first defense for noticing some red flags.

“We know our loved ones better than anyone else and we should be able to recognize those changes when we see them,” he said.

Some of those changes, or red flags, aren’t always major. He says they can be minor changes in behavior.

“They’re really common things,” said Siegel. “If you see your brother who you’ve known all of his life, and all of the sudden he starts exhibiting very odd behaviors. Maybe his spending habits have changed, maybe his hygiene habits have changed. Maybe he’s become more secretive and is taking phone calls and sneaking out of the room. Just little things like that can be signs of a problem.

Those red flags, the steps you can take to help a loved one, and more will be covered in the program taking place at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Purdue Extension Office at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds.

It is open to all. To pre-register, contact the Extension Office at 574-533-0554.

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